“On Waterloo Bridge where we said our goodbyes,
the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.”
― Wendy Cope
Rose, one of my buddies here in London, has been a research and teaching assistant for the last few months, but alas her program has ended and she’s heading for a last nomadic romp around the British Isles before moving back to the States. I’m sorry to lose her, we’ve had a lot of fun girl dates together, but far be it from me to stand in the way of academia’s next rising start! At the very least though, we knew she had to take in a bit more of the city before she left so we made a day of it down along Queen’s Walk on the south bank of the Thames.
The first port of call was the popular Bleecker Street food truck, parked right against the balustrade and looking out over the river. They boast that they make their burgers with “real American cheese,” which is frankly not a phrase you hear a lot in London, but I’ve got to say, they nail a good Yankee burger! All are cooked medium rare unless specified otherwise and the result is a gorgeous meaty mouthful. May I suggest their Angry Fries as a side for the adventurous? Freshly cut and covered with hot sauce and finished with melted blue cheese. Rose got those, I got the sweet potato fries (the portions are generous) and we divided and devoured them straight down the middle.
Filled with delicious food, we meandered down to the little known gem, the Southbank Centre Book Market under Waterloo Bridge. It’s small and tucked away but you can find some real literary treasures down here, including first editions of popular or important books, author signed copies, and every genre from trashy light reading to the densest of German philosophy.
Afterwards we strolled back along the Centre to admire the skate park in its undercroft. For several months now, there’s been a bit of a social brawl happening around this area. Developers wanted to turn it into more of what’s sprung up along Queen’s Way, shops and restaurants, but the skating community rallied and campaigned hard to keep it the slightly rough and graffiti marked spot as it was. I’m happy to report the skaters have won. They collected over 27,000 official planning objections and the park is safe for the foreseeable future.
Bye for now, Rose, thanks for coming out on one last adventure!